Thoughts about socially distanced gigs

If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen the poll we added to our stories about socially distanced gigs. We wanted to ascertain just how many of you generally like the idea of attending these intentionally separated concerts, and the majority spoke to a positive effect. ‘Count me in’ was the consensus, which reflects our feelings as well.

On Tuesday 11th August, Sam Fender showed the world how we can embrace gigs in ‘the new normal‘. Live from the Virgin Money Unity Arena, 500 raised metal platforms housed groups of up to five, who could all enjoy the experience from a safe distance. Fender’s elation on social media seems tantamount to a ringing endorsement. 

By and large, the idea of seeing major acts perform at large venues isn’t off-putting. No more weary feet thanks to the option of seating? Ideal. Not having to muscle in and jostle for a space? That’s where having your own allocated section is great. There are big perks!

However, you had to know there was a ‘but’ coming… Record Weekly’s cultivated niche, following its rebrand and facelift in 2019, is centred upon going to gigs. These aren’t gigantic, sold-out arena-style events either; these are typically small-scale, intimate shows. Raw energy, unshackled potential and the musician at their purest — that’s what it’s all about for us, so it could prove tremendously difficult to make those sorts of gigs work. We’ll just have to see how socially distanced indoor gigs go down next.

Plainly speaking, any kind of gig is better than nothing, so that’s why we’re game. But grassroots venues will continue to have issues if we can’t make events in these humble spaces doable…

If you have any thoughts about socially distanced gigs that you’re keen to share, either leave a comment below or let us know on Instagram

Dead Naked Hippies, Rifffest #2, Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, January 2020

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